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Does My Child Qualify?

Children must meet age and eligibility requirements in order to qualify for Head Start.  Check out our Application Information Flyer for the specific age and eligbility requirements:


Age Requirements

Head Start follows the kindergarten cut-off date of July 31 (in accordance with GDOE guidelines) to determine age eligibility. This means that preschool children are considered “age-eligible” to attend Head Start if they do not qualify for kindergarten and will be at least 3 years old by August 31.

Eligibility Requirements

Income Eligibility

Head Start verifies the combined gross annual income of parents/guardians in the household using the annual HHS Poverty Guidelines for the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.


Categorical Eligibility

The following children are considered categorically eligible for Head Start regardless of income:

  • Children from families receiving public assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income) 
  • Children from families that are homeless as per the McKinney-Vento Definition
  • Children in foster care

Children Eligible for Services Under IDEA

Age-eligible children with certified special needs.are eligible to attend Head Start with a current IEP from the GDOE Division of Special Education

Head Start must work to ensure at least 10 percent of its total funded enrollment is filled by children eligible for services under IDEA.  This may include age-eligible children whose family's income is above the applicable Federal Poverty Guideline.  Head Start ensures appropriate placement as per the child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  If there is no enrollment opportunity within a child’s school district, then efforts will be made to place the child in another Head Start center when possible.

Additional Allowances

Head Start may also serve up to an additional 35 percent of children from families whose incomes are up to 130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines may be enrolled, provided that every effort is made ensure that the Program:

  • Meets the needs of all income-eligible children as prioritized by the Program’s Selection Criteria
  • Has exhausted all wait list and outreach efforts
  • Complies with the federal requirement of having a minimum of 10% of enrollment be children with disabilities
  • Meets the needs of all “over-income” children who are considered eligible because of their certified disability

This category may include:

  • Age-eligible children with a certified disability who are over-income.  These "over-income" children, however, may only comprise 10% of the total number of funded enrollment.
  • Age-eligible children of families whose gross annual income is up to 130% of the applicable income Federal Poverty Guideline.
Visit for information on how to register your child for Head Start.


KUAM News Extra: Head Start Registration